Cervical spinal fusion can help avoid serious nerve damage

Cervical spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that fuses, or joins selected bones in the cervical, or neck region of the spine, comprised of the top seven vertebrae of the spinal column. Cervical spinal fusion is performed to stabilize the neck and to treat pain, and may also be performed to prevent compression and damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots. In patients with cervical fractures and, vertebrae and bone fragments can damage the spinal cord and adjacent nerves, potentially causing paralysis. A cervical fusion stabilizes the spine and helps prevent neurologic injury. Some other spinal conditions where cervical fusion is performed include unstable cervical spondylolisthesis (vertebral misalignment and slippage), cervical herniated disc, certain cases of spinal stenosis, progressive deformities such as kyphosis, and unstable arthritic conditions.

Cervical spinal fusion offers several procedure options

Several cervical spinal surgery methods can be used to achieve a fusion. These could be performed from the front (anterior approach) or from the back (posterior approach). Bone can be taken from other parts of the body, usually from the hip/pelvis region, and used to help achieve a fusion. An alternative to this includes cadaver bone from a “bone bank,” or synthetic material. Ultimately, regardless of the fusion material, the goal is for the spine surgeon to achieve a bridge between adjacent vertebrae that are normally separated by an intervertebral disc or a joint. The bone grafts or artificial materials stimulate the growth of new bone, which bonds adjacent vertebrae to each other as part of the growth process, thereby fusing the vertebrae to each other. Metallic implants which are most often made of titanium can be used to stabilize and hold the vertebrae together while the new bone grows between the vertebrae. In some cases, the intervertebral disc may be removed (anterior approach) and the adjacent vertebrae fuse to each other. In other cases, entire vertebrae may be removed after which the spine is reconstructed with fusion materials and metallic implants. This spinal surgery procedure stiffens the neck where the vertebrae are fused, but generally does not reduce the flexibility of the neck. A spinal specialist typically determines the best treatment options for a particular spinal disc surgersy patient. The orthopedic surgeons at New Jersey Spine Specialists have extensive experience performing cervical spinal fusions. With offices in Montclair and Summit, we are conveniently located for patients throughout the New York-New Jersey tri-state region and in towns like Union, Morristown, Bernardsville, Basking Ridge, and Warren, and across Essex and Union Counties to meet with a spine surgeon in NJ near to them. If you seek state-of-the-art care for yourself or a loved one, call or email New Jersey Spine Specialists to schedule a consultation with one of our board certified physicians.